Bishops' Aide Hails Call for 4-Year Ban on Human Cloning

Says the Alternative Would Be Policy-by-Default

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 14, 2002 ( The call of the President’s Council on Bioethics for a temporary ban on human cloning for biomedical research “is a significant achievement for an advisory body representing such diverse viewpoints,” a U.S. bishops’ spokesman says.

“A four-year moratorium on all human cloning will offer ample time to discuss all viewpoints on a permanent policy,” said Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

“Without further delay, the U.S. Senate should join President Bush, the House of Representatives and the President’s Council on Bioethics in supporting at least a temporary ban on all human cloning,” Doerflinger added. “Otherwise the most irresponsible of researchers will create our national policy on cloning by default.”

His statement also noted: “The council states that human cloning, performed for any purpose, is the creation of a human embryo — so a ban on cloning will ban use of cloning to create embryos.”

The statement continued: “The majority report does not support the kind of proposal offered by Senator Feinstein and others — a proposal to allow creating human embryos by cloning but prohibit their later survival. That morally unacceptable approach, rejected by President Bush and the House of Representatives, is not endorsed by the Bioethics Council either.”

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